Now, while the “nature vs. nurture” debate is intriguing and fraught with fascinating – if somewhat disturbing – implications, it is about neither nature nor nurture to which I wish to address my thoughts today.
There is, in fact, a third factor which shapes who we are. A factor unseen and unsuspected that has an unfathomable influence over each of us. To name this factor will, in all likelihood, lose me the previously unshakable respect of the millions of readers I like to pretend frequent this blog. Even knowing that, however, I still feel compelled, so I will name it.
It's aliens. Aliens control us in ways that you, quite literally, won’t believe. My realization that there was an unearthly intelligence shaping our thoughts and behaviors came about a year ago. I had a very flux capacitor-esque revelation when I heard my children singing the playground song, “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells”. That’s funny, I thought amusedly, I used to sing the same song when I was their age. As I thought about it more, however, my amusement turned to foreboding. 30 years and hundreds of miles separated the 5-year-old me from my present-day children. How could they possibly be singing the same song? It’s not the type of song that is taught to elementary school children by their teachers, and I have a hard time believing that parents all across America have been propagating it from generation to generation.
The seeds of suspicion had been planted in my mind, so I decided to do some research. Each phone call and casual conversation I had over then next few days was fodder for my suspicions. Every person I talked to was familiar with the song. There were no geographical or generational bounds to it. It was known by octogenarians and kindergarteners, New Yorkers and Californians. Not only did everyone know the song, the vast majority of them had absolutely no recollection of ever learning it.
Still, I dug further. I tried to find the origins of the song, and was amazed by what I found. My research took me to Lascaux France where, in a forgotten corner of its famous cave, I found the following prehistoric painting:
The image clearly depicts jingle bells, Batman smelling, and even the Batmobile which has lost a wheel.
Interestingly, the carbon dating on this painting proves it not only to predate Bob Kane and Bill Finger (the supposed creators of Batman), but even Christmas itself.
With the combined evidence of my personal interviews, the cave painting, and my gut – which, as pointed out earlier, is genetically predisposed to tell me stuff, the conclusion is irrefutable. This song (and probably many others) is routinely implanted into human minds by aliens.
So what's the big deal? After all, it is just a silly playground song. Well, the "big deal" is that this song subtly strikes a blow at two of the most central pillars of civilazation - super heroes and holidays. If aliens are successful in trivializing these two staples of humanity, the consequences will be catastrophic. Movie script writers will have to start thinking up original plot lines. Retailers will have to figure out how to be profitable without a post-Thanksgiving rush. Credit card companies might fail altogether. In short, the world will be a confused mess.
So, for the sake of our planet, please remember, Batman does NOT smell, and The Joker never gets away.